Best of 2017! My past, present and future...
It's been a while that you all heard from me. And there is a very simple reason why: busy with life, work, family and everything else that is on a day-to-day to do list of a full time mom of a three year old toddler. :) My equine photography has been flourishing over the holiday season and I had the best months ever since I have been officially in business.
I finally had time to gather my thoughts, reflect on last year's accomplishments and get a list together for this year's goals and marketing strategies. As you can see, I do take my photography extremely serious and run it as a business, and NOT as a hobby!
So What have I done last year?
- I clearly defined my style within the equine photography world. My business focuses on horse portraits and equestrian life style photography.
- This made me change my logo that represents more what I do now. Here are the two logos: Left- before, Right- After
- At the beginning, I had a tough time with my editing style, meaning after a photo shoot, the way I edit the photos. Many photographers are defined by their "own style", and after looking at a LOT of images from others, and trying to "copy" them or being "like them", I found my own style and how I want my photos to look in general: clean, light & airy (easier said than done :). However, this is not always possible during late sunset shoots, which are then more defined by the emotions and color scheme of the sky at that moment.
- I became in expert of how to make color corrections. For example, a black horse has a LOT of blue in their coat in photos, white horses have lots of cyan and magenta in it, verses brown horses look simply over the top red, depending on the light. I now can say, that I am very comfortable in correcting it! Here is an example of how red the left image is, simply because of the way the sun is shining onto the horse. Obviously, the horse does NOT look like that so it needs to be fixed.
- Besides equines, I also had a chance to photograph several couples, families, company parties, and seniors this year. I don't advertise it, but if friends or people who know me ask, I will do it. It made me realize how much "easier" it is to photograph only humans. Because they listen SO much better to you then horses :)
- I never go into a photo shoot with planned images, simply because every horse and their owners are different, have their own story and relation. Because of the amount of shoots I did last year, I became very comfortable and efficient in my work flow of how I direct them into different poses and get that natural look. I constantly look for different perspectives and angles. Many times you see me laying on the ground, crawl around or I am up high on a ladder.
- I took several online workshops & classes and also invested in a professional critic session with Top Equine Photographer Shelley Paulson, which was an absolute eye opener for me and helped me tremendously to advance in my niche. You can read more about it here: www.creatememoriesbyanett.com/blog1/realtalkreallife
- I definitely reached a limit with my camera equipment, and one of the most important and best things I have done last year, was investing in new camera equipment, which made A HUGE difference in my quality of images. I now have a professional full crop Canon 5D Mark III, one of the best professional portrait cameras. Thanks for a new model (Mark IV) it became much more affordable than it was. I also upgraded my lens to a 70-200mm f2.8 IS II USM which made a huge difference in my event photos!
- I did two Fantasy Photo Shoots with Ashley Morgan Rhodes, who owns beautiful Friesians and Andalusian Stallions. I still have to write a blog about it (on my long to do list), but here are a few images:
My plans for this year:
- Now I can truly focus on the business side and shift my focus towards marketing and define my target audience via: videos, social media, email marketing, promoting and some other new projects I have on my long to do list!
- From now on clients will receive a video along with their images. Here is a great example of the first video for Leslie and Carter:
- I will share more educational videos: e.g. before & after images, color corrections, image resolutions, products for customers etc etc....(long list :)
- Continue to grow my following and client base through blogging, and getting my newsletter out more regularly with important content that is of interest for YOU.
- Shoot a limited amount of annual local horse events and continue to donate my time for local horse charities.
- I will focus a BIG part of my time on my own personal branding which includes website design, share more valuable knowledge, "secrets" and must-have apps for photos etc.
- Continue my education via online classes, workshops and conventions. My first convention will be in February in Las Vegas.
- Create a strong Loyalty/ Referral program! (on top of my list!)
To finish this long blog post, in case you are still reading it, here is the "Best of 2017" video. Thanks for reading my long blog, I promise the next ones will be much shorter.
Would love for you to drop me a note below and get some more insights of what you would like to see next in my blog...
Hope to see you all out there on the trail!
and follow me on social media